BioShock (Video Game 2007) Poster

(2007 Video Game)

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Behold... Rapture!
MetaGame4 April 2008
"Bioshock", like most art, is shaped from an idea, a message, a concept; in this case, it's Rapture, an underwater dystopia molded by objectivist ideals. In this Jules Verne scenario, 20.000 leagues under the sea, Andrew Ryan (a captain Nemo politician), after being fed up with government oppression, decides to build an entire underwater nation, where every "man is entitled to the sweat of his brow". In his own private utopia, justice, religion, ethics and any social considerations are absent, in favor of free commerce and free will as Law. The result, as you can guess, is nothing but disastrous. Though at first, the lack of ethical boundaries makes science, commerce and art bloom, after some time, everything goes haywire. The result is an underwater ghost city, filled with the monsters of Andrew Ryan's dreams: a plastic surgeon that makes Picasso paintings out of women, a sculptor that makes art by molding human flesh, and a capitalist entrepreneur that is willing destroy an entire society, if only to be entitled "to the sweat of his brow". Rapture is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most intelligent universes ever to grace a video game. Written by none other than Ken Levine ("Thief, the Dark Project", "System Shock 2"), this metaphor of modern capitalism and nightmare of ideological proportions, rightfully belongs in the same pantheon of dystopian masterpieces such as "1984", "Farenheit 451" "Brave New World", "Gattaca", "V for Vendetta"...

The plot itself revolves around the discovery of Rapture by an unknown man, after his plane crashed in the middle of the Ocean. Controlled by the player, he will uncover Rapture's dark past, by listening to the audio-logs of its inhabitants and by facing Andrew Ryan's objectivist monstrosities. In the end, his quest will decide the fate of Rapture, according to the moral choices of the player. And though they are binary, if they're taken seriously, they can add a level of dramatic impact to the plot, making it much more meaningful. The narrative tends to move slowly and tries to establish certain moods, allowing the player to immerse in the chaotic nature of Rapture, while at the same time, learning about its convoluted history. Curiously, few cut-scenes are used, which ends up being both a blessing and a curse. On one side, you aren't obliged to sit through important plot details, but on the other side, much of the dramatic potential of the plot feels wasted.

What manages to counterweight the absence of cut-scenes, is the sheer amount of detail and information that lies hidden in the art and music of the game. Posters, sculptures, flyer's, songs, all have something to say about the world of Rapture, and whether you want to or not, you'll apprehend a lot of information that might be otherwise hard to convey. Of course, this wouldn't be that interesting if the Art Design or Music weren't as good as they are. The fact is that "Bioshock", besides featuring one of the best narratives to grace a game, also features one of the best art designs ever to appear in one. The virtuous art deco transforms every corridor, wall and painting into marvelous works of art. The contrast between the cold, stark colors of the ocean and the flashy neon of Rapture's buildings is the perfect testament to the designers' capability of creating interactive paintings. Accompanying the visuals, a an erudite soundtrack by Garry Schyman fills in the immersion gap, with moody piano ballads and claustrophobic cacophonies establishing the player's mood perfectly.

Usually, in my reviews of artistic games, every compliment has been said by the time I get to the game-play section, which is where I commonly start "bashing". Guess what? "Bioshock" is also grand on that regard. It takes the first person shooter / rpg hybrid mechanics of "System Shock 2", removes the unneeded complications, and empowers certain abilities, creating the perfect blend of open-ended first person shooter. The player has at his disposal a great number of weapons and abilities (which he can level up), each with a particular context of use, allowing the player to choose his particular fighting style. It's nothing that hasn't been done before, but in "Bioshock", everything feels tweaked and balanced, to the point of making complex mechanics inherently fun to use, while most games, either simplify them too much, thus discarding the tactical nature of choices ("Crysis"), or complicate them to the point of being too obtuse to be fun ("Deus Ex"). Furthermore, special abilities, which range from fireballs to electric shocks, have special uses when the environment's context is right, thanks to a physics engine that defines water as electric-conducting and oil as inflammable, making special abilities all the more amusing. Perhaps the only (minor) flaw I can find in this game (that can't be regarded as nitpicking) is the sometimes overly hectic nature of the action; for the most part of the game, there is someone (or something) trying to kill you. The reason this comes out as a flaw is simple: "Bioshock" is beautiful, immersive, and mysterious, warranting exploration and attention to detail in order to sink in all the wonders of the game, but it is hard to do so, when you're constantly fighting for your life. A more paced game-play would definitely emphasize the more interesting aspects of the game, even if it would end up losing some appeal for more trigger-happy players.

It's not hard to understand why someone who looks upon games as an art form, would love "Bioshock" in every possible way. It's one of the few games that actually wants, from the get go, to be regarded as much more than just a toy, or just a "game". Its aesthetics are beautiful, its message is strong, intelligent and emotionally provocative, and it is an entertaining game. It is, by my definition, the perfect example of a perfect game, and one of the best works of art I've seen in the past year.
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The Best Game I've Ever Played
The_Welshman7 September 2008
Where do I start with this masterpiece? As soon as the first scene rolls in, you know you're in for an action-packed, deeply atmospheric, intelligent gaming experience! To start off with - the Graphics. Truly breathtaking! The plane crash at the beginning wouldn't be as intense if it wasn't for the immersive fire and water effects. The lighting effects are also fantastic, shining through and on the surface. The graphics are the best I've seen in any game.

Next - the Gameplay. The gameplay was solid, with character customisations to the roof! The splicing is excellent, and the combat system works effectively! My only criticism is the lack of a 'block' button. Like Condemned. That would have been excellent, as it is very difficult to survive on Hard mode.

Next - the Story.! From the moment it begins, your trapped; spiralling into the world of Bioshock! Packed with twists and turns, this is one of the best stories ever created for a game! Or movie for that matter. And incredible, intelligent plot form start to finish.

Next - the Sound. Without the implausible sound effects and the captivating music, the astounding atmosphere would be inconceivable! The soundtrack is unlike any other. 'Nuff said! And finally - the Atmosphere. Beyond words. Seriously, I cannot describe it. You actually feel like you are in Rapture, fearing for your life and fearful of the Splicing mutants that roam the abandoned halls of Rapture. The Big Daddy's are terrifying, and their connection with the Little Sisters is strong! They would lay down their life for them, which is unique to see something so massive protecting a tiny little girl. Like I said - beyond words.

In conclusion, buy this game. Now. Right now. What the hell are you still doing here? Go buy it!
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Would you kindly...
kirk-24622 July 2009 this game and immediately put it into your Xbox 360 before it gets sold out?

After surviving a terrible plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a lone survivor named Jack spots and swims over to a lighthouse and enters a bathysphere, which takes him through the stunning world of Rapture, a city that was once great before things went horribly wrong.Jack is now trapped in Rapture, and the only way to get out is fight through hundreds of crazed civilians called Splicers.Just how did they become so crazy? ADAM.It is the one of the things that keep the wheels of Rapture rolling.But the people of Rapture became very addicted to it and it led to horrible side effects.With the help of a friend named Atlas, Jack struggles to defeat the splicers and kill the one man who's in charge, Andrew Ryan.

'Bioshock' is an outstanding game with state-of-the-art graphics and an interesting plot that will have you hooked into the game before you know it.But it gets even better in September, for that is the month in which 'Bioshock 2' is released.But before then, I suggest that you immediately buy the game and start playing if you haven't already.Your time and money will not go to waste.I promise you that you won't regret it.
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Enter the enigmatic, obscure, and violent world of Rapture.
insomniac_rod23 November 2008
So you think you are a Big Daddy?.

One of the best video games ever made is still waiting for you. "Bio-Shock" overpasses expectations and proves again that a solid and dark plot may get your attention, but extremely detailed graphics, creepy and atmospheric atmospheric music, and the best f/x you will ever see are the perfect elements to make a memorable video game.

The plot is extremely intriguing and dark; it involves a City in the likes of the myth of Atlantis, the Lost City but taken further to the point that evil alien-type creatures are invading the city and the political system.

Talking about politics, this video game has a sub-plot involving political strategies and an ancient political system accused of being corrupt and cruel for a futuristic City.

To make this better, we have futuristic and spectacular weapons that will let you eyed open. You won't see more complex and impressive weapons in any other game. Most of them are deadly and deliver extremely impressive and violent results.

Overall this is the most atmospheric game created for xbox 360. Don't look further and buy this game. I won't recommend it for a specific audience; it's a game for everyone.

Hands down to last year's best game.
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One of the best games out there!
brandon_lee42031 October 2009
I was hearing about Bioshock on the internet a couple of months ago and was amazed by the good reviews critics gave it. So i thought why not try it. I won the bid off ebay for 15 dollars and when it finally arrived i installed it and played it.

You are a survivor of a plane crash and with no where to go, you will have to go to the lighthouse. The light house reaches to an under water city called Rapture, built by Andrew Ryan, and you realize how corrupted it is. Throughout the game you understand stuff about rapture, it's people and how they became to be zombie-looking things and so on.

The beginning starts out boring and i thought that my money had gone to waste but as i progressed further and further i realized that this game was not a waste at all. Plasmids and Big daddies make this game, oh and i forgot that the idea for a underwater city is priceless. The guns look very different but are the same and you can also upgrade your plasmids and guns throughout the game. Every serious gamer should have at least played this game but don't expect it to be better than Half-life 2 because it's a disgrace against Hl2.

Pros- Big daddies, guns, plasmids, story... Cons- Same enemies and that's about it.
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Once You Enter Rapture.....You Never Leave
tyranid_slayer26 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
At the time i kept hearing about BioShock, a game i really wanted yet i didn't have an xbox. But i bought an xbox for several reasons: Halo, Gears of War and BioShock.

So, if i'm being perfectly honest, i really liked the look of the game and it's gameplay and stuff but i never truly understood its critical success, i didn't think it was going to be THAT good.

But.....would you kindly read on. honestly one of my all time favourite games now. It's just fantastic. It has great atmosphere and interesting characters with a good story which unfolds as you pick up diaries and you slowly learn the disturbing truth the hell under the sea.

A place crash survivor ends up in the god forsaken under-water city of Rapture and it's inhabitants of drugged up psychos and drill and rivet gun wielding juggernauts.

pros first. The Level design is excellent obviously it was a difficult undertaking in an undersea city but water graphics are amazing and the whole setting is just incredibly immersive and feels real and eerie. They really have excelled themselves by making some truly twisted characters in Rapture. The two scariest ones were Dr. Steillman and Sander Cohen, these characters were well created and written to show just HOW INSANE they are, these guys are so insane it's scary. The scary characters adds to the atmosphere and its gorgeous graphics. BioShock broke a genre it made a first person shooter with RPG elements and while some developers under-develop and idea like this, 2K have perfected it and made it work well for the game. Big Daddies, while they may be easy to beat, they are an essential part of your BioShock experience.

Cons. They weapon selection system is a little off and you find yourself using the radial selection and sometimes all your plasmids and power ups can becoming slightly overwhelming.

thats it. Honestly thats the worst i can say about this game. WOULD YOU KINDLY BUY THIS GAME NOW it's one of my all time favourites and is one of they few games i consider art.

and like i said once you enter never leave. Rapture will stay with you for the rest of your gaming life.

would you kindly ;D
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Perfect...well, for me!
BlackJack_B9 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I've never been a big fan of many of the GOTY games that have come out in recent years. Didn't care for Halo, World Of Warcraft, Resident Evil 4 or Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Many of these games didn't do it for me or were games I was apathetic to.

In 2007, I thoroughly enjoyed a potential GOTY for the first time in years. BioShock is one of the best games I've played in 2007 or any year for that matter. No game in recent memory has meshed graphics, gameplay, ambiance and sheer fun as well as BioShock does.

The graphics in this game are spectacular. Irrational Games (I'm not calling them 2KBoston) paints a gorgeous picture of a futuristic 1960 underwater megalopolis. The Art Deco buildings, the posters for various events, the attention to detail and the proper weapons all fit in perfectly.

The gameplay is a joy. It's a FPS with excellent controls. It's easy to get into. At first, it can be a bit tricky to get the right weapons or plasmids on the fly but eventually you can change them without any problems. The camera is perfect, the 360 rotation on the gamepad is perfect as well. You'll have no problems playing this one.

The ambiance is tremendous. The acting in this game is superb and effective. The soundtrack of licensed songs include Bobby Darin, the Ink Spots and various novelty songs like "How Much Is That Little Doggie In The Window?" along with the original, foreboding soundtrack. You'll play around with 1960's style slot machines and machinery, hack talking vending machines and face off against crazy, crude-looking security cameras. There are many little digs to the setting, such as the pep bars and cream-filled cakes.

Best of all, the game is absolutely a lot of fun. The game is dark and foreboding but the game also packs a lot of humor. The little cutscenes that appear for buying a new plasmid, the sometimes hilarious audio diaries, listening to "If I Didn't Care" by the Ink Spots while the splicers downstairs in the bathroom are talking crazy and hearing the Little Sisters talk to their Big Daddies and calling them "Mr. Bubbles" are some of the great stuff you'll hear and see.

Yes, the game might be a little too easy with the Vita-Chambers and the fact that enemies retain their damage, making even the Big Daddies easy to defeat after you respawn. Yes, the game might be a bit too short, Yes, there's no multi-player. And yes, you'll have so much money that you will be able to auto-hack everything. Still, there is plenty to do. You can photograph enemies for extra powers, beef up your character, invent stuff and you can try to find every single item for Achievement Points. There's another 3-5 hours here.

The game has Autosave and allows you to save anywhere. The load times are not intruding and only occur between sections of Rapture. The game runs smooth as silk.

The minor quibbles didn't affect my score. This game is absolutely perfect. If you have an Xbox 360, you must BUY this game. 10/10 and my choice for GOTY 2007. Congratulations, Irrational Games!
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A gripping game
h-rabbit5 April 2009
BioShock was one of the games which I originally go "This looks OK...I'll just buy it for the sake of it" but then after a while I think "This game rocks, I'm glad I bought it in the first place". I think the gameplay is simply amazing with the numerous weapons and Plasmids, I enjoy whacking enemy Splicers with a wrench, downing them with armor-piercing revolver rounds, incinerating them with the power of a plasmid or firing electric bolts from your fingertips. The story and game simply just rocks to the best of it, I recommend this game to any who love standalone horror shooters. But I still don't get why the protagonist went down to Rapture in the first place anyway...

Note - Big Daddies in the game may be difficult but are essential to the harvesting or rescuing of Little Sisters, which give you ADAM energy useful for the continuation of the game.

By HowlingRabbit334
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Simply great game. Revolutionary in design and literary concept.
johnnymacbest14 September 2012
Bioshock is simply terrific. Not many games can claim this but this is an exception. Who wouldn't want to play a game where you can modify your DNA to gain superhuman powers and abilities at your disposal? You'd be hard pressed to find anything else of this caliber with it's blissfully flawless combat system, killer graphics with atmospheric lighting effects, voice acting, and most deliciously important of all, a well-written and intriguing storyline.

Despite being a FPS, the game really is a hybrid FPS/RPG. You level up by harvesting or rescuing "Little Sisters" who are carriers of a substance called Adam, which powers the world of Rapture, a city that was once proposed to be a utopia for mankind, has now become a dystopia where mutants and other assorted freaks running rampant throughout the city.

With such a intriguing concept, another thing that sets Bioshock from others is the strategy of using plasmids: DNA-altering substance that endows the user with superhuman abilities such as electricity, fire, ice, decoy attacks and more. And with an arsenal of weapons such as shotguns, machine guns, flamethrowers, grenade launchers, pistols, and crossbows, the game gives you many ways of taking down your foes and I alone loved this aspect of the game. You can also purchase upgrades to ammo, abilities, the amount you can carry, and more. But in order to become more powerful, you must kill "Big Daddies" giant mutants in diving suits and not only that, they are protectors of the Little Sisters. So if you attack one, prepare to be in the fight of your life as the Big Daddies will defend them with their lives if they have to.

I've since beaten the game 2 times in a row and never once does it fail to keep me on the edge of my seat and scare the absolute crap out of me. That's an accomplishment; considering the creative talent behind the game and what a wonderful job they did at crafting this masterful tale of self-discovery, betrayal, hope, redemption, and destiny. And with the multiple moral choices you can make, this lends to some impressive replay value. Yes, the game can get hectic and chaotic at times, but for me, it made the game even more enjoyable and a blast to play. I've never played a game as original and groundbreaking as this one. Bioshock is simply one of the best games I've played and because of that, I bought Bioshock 2. With an ending that superbly sets up the sequel, it will be a treat to delve even deeper into the world of Rapture.
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This game is ballin
Marquis Baptista18 October 2011
Well-written, immersive narrative. Top notch dialogue and voice acting, and amazing atmosphere. Rapture is easily my favorite fictional failed utopia overrun by cosmetic steroid abusing half-mutants. I would never visit, but I think of it fondly. It has a lot of action/adventure and survival horror elements, but more importantly, a lot of violence. And you can never have too much violence, can you? No, of course not silly! On top of shooting things (which is reason enough to buy anything) you get to set things on fire with the flick of your wrist, freeze things, and throw people with your mind. Makes me feel like a jedi, but less Ewan McGregor-esque.
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